Unsung Heroes or C-List Sidekicks?
Season 1 Review
DC's ensemble enterprise, Legends of Tomorrow, takes a bunch of miscellaneous lesser superheroes and puts them on a time-travelling team mission to save the future.With the majority of the characters introduced across seasons of both Arrow and The Flash - and thus existing in the same universe (which is soon to also house Supergirl) - Legends makes short work of a brief recap for each of them here, as ovetly slick wannable Doctor Who time master Rip Hunter puts together a team of heroes (and villains) who he hopes will help change the course of history and prevent a future where the dastardly, immortal warmonger Vandal Savage basically destroys the world as they know it. The team he puts together - Firestorm (a flying, fire-spitting two-part Human Torch combining the brain of nuclear physicist Martin Stein with the body of athlete Jefferson Jackson); Atom (a shrinking man in a suit a la Ant Man), Lazarus Pit-reincarnated ex-League of Assassins killer White Canary (a bit Black Widow); criminal partners Captain Cold (think Mr. Freeze, only without any cold-related issues) and Heat Wave (think Firefly except without any heat-related issues); and Hawkgirl (and Hawkman - both repeatedly reincarnated eternal foes of Savage).The character traits are remarkably familiar (in both DC and Marvel universes), and seem distinctly C-list but actually that's cleverly worked into the plot – they were chosen because they were insignificant to the timeline, and so their quest becomes increasingly personally important to them in order that they may finally become Legends. The first season offers up a strong enough two-part pilot, with plenty of time-travelling and explosive ensemble action, and the show maintains a relatively adult feel (certainly more Arrow than The Flash) despite its overtly colourful, oftentimes camp, cast, but the narrative can be a bit hit and miss with a Quantum Leap structure that sometimes feels like it will never end. The best episodes are clearly the cross-over events (the Arrow-centric future Star City in particular), as well as a more distinct eras visited (the Hex-flavoured Wild West) and the final clutch of game-changers, and making it an inclusive 16-episode arc was probably the right choice, but we'll have to see if there's enough here to fuel a second outing.
Picture QualityDC's Legends of Tomorrow hits UK Region Free Blu-ray complete with a strong video presentation
Cut from the same cloth as both Arrow and The Flash, Legends delivers the same largely very good video with a few of the same problems but nothing that really detracts from your enjoyment of the piece. The shorter 16 episode first season is unfortunately crammed onto just two discs (where the others would boast a 22+ episodes split across 4) but it doesn't discernably suffer as a result, with strong detail retained across the run, delivering decent skin observations, clothing nuances and background flourishes that pick up on the various eras which the ensemble crew investigate. Although not quite as bathed in shadow as The Flash or - in particular - Arrow, there are still a few hints of banding that prevent black levels from attaining greatness. However, for the most part this is a very good presentation which certainly suits this glossy DC ensemble series.
Sound QualityThe accompanying lossless audio also does the job nicely
Legends benefits from a boisterous DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which delivers the goods with aplomb. Dialogue remains well-prioritised across the front and centre channels, whilst the score engages during the plentiful ensemble skirmishes, playing out efficiently as the slow-mo battles come to life. Effects are the biggest strong point, with a variety of different weapons and super powers on offer to discern through both discrete prioritisation and distinctive design. There's also a fair amount of LFE input for the most explosive moments – up to and including atomic weapons. Overall it's a great track that delivers across the series.
ExtrasA trio of Featurettes headline the extra features: Jonah Hex - Hex Marks the Spot; A Fantastic Voyagers: Touring the Waverider Set; and Legends of Tomorrow: History in the Making, with the 2015 Comic-Con Panel and a Gag Reel rounding out the 2-disc set.
Blu-ray VerdictLegends can get a bit chaotic but its Quantum Leap-style time-travelling adventures do have high points
This first season comes in a 2-disc Blu-ray release which boasts strong video and audio and a nice selection of extras which should keep fans happy. If you love the DC TV universe - arguably far more satisfying than its cinematic counterpart - and have enjoyed Arrow and The Flash, then this ensemble spin-off should be right up your street, even if it doesn't match up to the standards of either of its predecessors.
You can buy Legends of Tomorrow Season 1 on Blu-ray here
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